Tonight, the fourth-place Sixers will face off against the third-place Indiana Pacers in a matchup amongst two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. A Sixers win would result in a third-place tie among the two squads.
The Sixers are coming off of an outright dismemberment of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. In its first game against our dearly departed Dario Saric, the Sixers completed a wire-to-wire blowout against Jimmy Butler’s former team, 149-107. 7-3 over their last 10, tonight in Indiana kicks off an unrelenting 12-game stretch where the Sixers will face Indiana, OKC, Houston, San Antonio, Denver (x2), LA Lakers (x2), Golden State, Sacramento, Toronto and Boston. Yeesh.
The Pacers enter this contest feeling good after a blowout of their own- a 131-97 drubbing of the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. 8-2 over their last 10, the Pacers are in the midst of another strong, steady season that has them slated once again in the top half of Eastern Conference playoff teams.
This is a matchup of two very good teams that features a host of some very good matchups. First, we have Victor Oladipo vs. Jimmy Butler. Butler figures to be the man tasked mainly with containing the electric Pacers guard as much as possible. Since joining the team, containing quick, scoring guards has proved to be a challenge for Butler and the Sixers as a whole. (Wildcard- let’s see if the Sixers deploy new defensive stopper and quite possibly still alive signee Corey Brewer to make things tough on Vic).
In the middle, we have superstar Joel Embiid vs. dark horse DPOY candidate Myles Turner. While Jo has historically feasted on the Pacers big in the past, his status for tonight is up in the air:
Joel Embiid is questionable with back tightness— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) January 17, 2019
Sixers starting power forward Wilson Chandler could also be sidelined with is 45th upper respiratory infection of the season.
Here’s hoping the big man and Chandler are good to for tonight as the Sixers look to start this stretch off with a tough road win.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis IN
When: 7:00 pm EST
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, TNT
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Vegas: Pacers -2.5